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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dog Games

R has had a roller coaster of adjustments over the past 8 weeks since K died. For a while, R was an only dog and seemed to enjoy being the center of attention. But, he also seems to have enjoyed recently becoming a big brother. He still is his usual fun-loving self who you all know for the "cracker dog" that he is.
During the time between when K died and Shyla arrived, I had a lot of fun teaching R some "tricks". The first one was to lie on his side with his head resting on the ground and to stay in that position until I released him. He learned the this "relax" trick in the house but, soon thereafter, we started practicing other places. He lay in a bed of flowers and grass in the meadow.
And, he lay atop Hug Hill.
The "relax" trick is actually great in the vet's office. I've trained him to lie on either his left or right side so that the vet can work on whichever side she needs to.

We learned other fun tricks like "take a bow". And, we worked on serious things like off-leash heeling. We had so much fun together. I adore training dogs, and R adores being trained. A perfect match!

Tomorrow, our boy gets his echocardiogram to check for a heart tumor. We both believe, based on intuition, that it will be clean. The only niggling worry in my mind is that I have is that I haven't seen his eyes shine like in the photo below in a while. This photo was from about a month ago.
Many other things about R seem great. He adores playing with his sister. He still seeks me out for games of training (I try to never make training "serious" - rather I make it a "game"). So, I'm hoping that the eye shine will return as his blood cells rejuvenate from whatever damaged them.

Today, I also did some socialization work with our amazing trainer and Shyla. We went to the outskirts of town to an area with a fair bit of foot traffic but many people have dogs with them. Because Shyla loves dogs, their presence helps her to be outgoing with the people who are walking the dogs. It worked beautifully, as Shyla approached a few strangers all on her own initiative. I'll talk more about how we'll be teaching Shyla about the big world full of new things in coming posts. But, I now have no doubt that she'll adjust to everyday life with a slow and steady approach.
It's fun to train two such happy and enthusiastic dogs. The one thing that is important to me, that I haven't kept up with due to time constraints, is to keep spending one-on-one time with R, training and playing, so that he still knows how special he is despite all of the attention that his sister is getting!


  1. OMD. That picture of R on hug hill is a hoot. I taught Lilly LAY FLAT as an intermediary step to ROLL OVER as a pup. I wasn't smart like you, and I didn't think to teach it to both sides. BUT, yes, it does come in handy at the v-e-t. Fingers crossed for good news after tomorrow's echo!

  2. So glad Shyla is progressing with people. R and you will be in our prayers as you get results back. I do love to see his shining eyes. He still is the number one cracker dog in my book.

  3. Sounds like you are on the right track with the training for both R and Shyla. R really looks great laying in the flowers and grass and the picture of him on the stones with the tongue hanging out is making us laugh. We are still praying for him.

    With Shyla, it sounds like with a little training she'll be coming around nicely.

    I too have to do one on one time between Lily and Muffin. I find it really makes a difference.


  4. Good luck tomorrow! Let us know how it goes

  5. What a terrific job you're doing with these two wonderful dogs! I really think you should make a trip to Florida and train my pack! :o)

    We'll be keeping R in our prayers tomorrow.

  6. Sending happy thoughts your way, and hugs to R.

  7. Fingers and paws crossed for good results tomorrow. I love the laying on your side trick, that truly is a wise thing to teach your friend for vet visits. The glow in Shyla's eyes is so apparent. What a happy little girl.


  8. The time will even out! I don't have any doubts that R knows how much you adore him. If he's like Kuster, he probably assumes that everyone adores him! lol

    I can't help grinning at him in that picture on the hill! What a cracker jack!

    I'm also glad that Shyla is showing such great progress. She's a special girl for sure!

  9. R loves to please you!
    That is so precious that he listens to you and lays flat when you ask him to.
    And Shyla- it sounds to me like she is progessing perfectly!
    We keep our paws crossed for R's hear test tomorrow.

  10. you guys are really smarty pants, BOL
    Benny & Lily

  11. Its so much fun to read your experiences with these two very different dogs. Thats very cool how you have taught R to lie down on either side.

    Shyla is going to be nothing but a wonderful dog that will bring you joy for always.

    Excited for you and Runner,


  12. I absolutely love the "Hug Hill" picture of R! Also the one with his lovely gleaming eyes. Lay Flat is something I want to add to Elka's repertoire.

    Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

  13. Super hugs to R, as he is my role model. Adaptable, teaching and learning, special.

  14. Don't overthink it too much. Both R and Shyla know they are loved and that you are there for them. Take the opportunities as they present themselves and don't get caught "ledger keeping" to make sure everyone gets an equal piece of makes both you and the dogs crazy. I am speaking from experience. It is great to see the spontaneous attacks of joy.

  15. I love how you are training R to lay on his side. I have a harder time teaching my very stubborn Sasha things like that. Shyla is so beautiful and so lucky to have all of you.

    Anne and Sasha

  16. Very glad to hear that all is going well with R and Shyla's training.

    Keeping our paws crossed for tomorrow.

    The photos are beautiful.

    take care
    Clive & Murray

  17. Have a wonderful Wednesday and we hope R is OK. Do let us know.
    Best wishes Molly

  18. We are crossing everything we've got that R's test results will come back clean, and he will soon regain that wonderful gleam in his eyes.

  19. I know I'm going to change my mind a hundred times in the coming months, but the last photo of Shyla is my favorite !!

    Waiting for great news about R today !!

  20. Eight paws and some fingers crossed for Mr. R...

  21. Beautiful post! I hope R's echocardiogram comes out clean tomorrow.

  22. I know how much you love your new sissy, R, because I love mine even though she can be a bit much sometimes!
    We're hoping for good news tomorrow! Paws are crossed!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Moll

  23. Paws crossed for R tomorrow! Momma's been trying to teach me take a bow too, but I'm stubborn. :)

  24. Sending good thoughts your way for tomorrows checkup...they are both beautiful!!
    stella rose

  25. Glad that Shyla do great progress in learning. Lovely pictures of the two...Hug hill must be a very special place.
    Hope you will get an answer on R condition tomorrow....

  26. How true that last statement is. So many people don't understand that. But you've got it well under control.

    Best wishes for the next set of tests.

  27. Sorry I've been missing out of commenting, but I've still been following along. So great to hear how Shyla is coming along and is able to feel more comfortable around humans when there are other dogs. And we are sending out our Sibe Vibes for R and his echocardigram and pray for that sparkle once again.

    Love that photo of him laying down on the hill. Too cute!

  28. Absolutely love the picture of R on the hill!


  29. Hi Y'all,

    R looks so sweet in his "relax" in the flowers.

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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